Business Investor Visa
To be eligible, you must make an investment of US$160,000 in capital stock of a Panamanian corporation. For each dependent investment, the amount will need to be increased by US$2,000.
You may invest the money in an existing business or set up your own new company. Your investment must lead the corporation to create at least 5 full-time jobs for Panamanians, with a salary of at least the minimum wage established by law. You must detail their position in the company and register them with Social Security (CSS).
The visa has a validity of 2 years. After this period, you may apply for a permanent residence permit, provided that you still meet the requirements. The permanent residency permit will allow you to remain indefinitely in Panama.
After 5 years of permanent residency, you may be eligible for citizenship. You may be required to show some ties to the country as a permanent home, have spent a significant time in Panama during your residency visa, have Spanish language skills, knowledge of Panamanian history, culture and values, and attend an interview. The process usually takes about 2-3 years.
- Certificate of original legal status from the Public Registry, including the trade name of the business, your status as director or officer in the Panama business, the name of the legal or authorized representative (if applicable), the capital stock and its distribution and business activities.
- Notarized certification by the Secretary or Treasurer of the Panama business attesting the existence of the US$160,000 investment.
- Business Plan.
- Certification by the Authorized Public Bookkeeper or Accountant (CPA) that accredits your ownership
- Notarized statement, indicating the total of the minimum required capital invested and your role in the company.
- Receipt of advanced payment of the capital gains tax if you have acquired an existing company, and copy of the business purchase contract.
- If purchasing an existing business, copies of the tax return with its certification of incumbency. The tax return should reflect your payment of US$160,000.
- If setting up a new company, the Unique Registration of the Taxpayer (RUC) identity number.
- Copies authenticated by Social Security (CSS), with a minimum of five employees, with their minimum wage established by law according to the region and area.
- Certificate of incumbency of the CSS in favor of the business.
- Proof of the minimum required Panamanian investment, by means of a bank certification of the transfer of funds (mandatory), contract of sale of shares and proof of payment, proof of deposit authenticated by the bank, sale and purchase or rental contract regarding localities where the business operates, receipts of the expenses incurred by a detailed inventory prepared by a CPA, customs inventories of the goods imported, audited financial statements or any document that prove your capital investment.
- Evidence of the existence and location of your business, by a rental agreement or an electricity bill or security services contract, or proof of payment of ITBMS (VAT) tax or proof of payments to the municipality.
- Copies of the Notice of Operation.
No nationality is officially restricted
Panamanian nationality law requires an oath of renunciation of former citizenships as a condition of naturalization. However, de facto, Panama permits dual citizenship, as the renunciation may not have an effect if is not also executed through the relevant authorities of the applicant's current country of nationality.
- Original and photocopy of passport
- Original or Certified copy of Birth Certificate (if applicable)
- Original or Certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- Eight passport-size photos
- Original Police Clearance Certificate
- Medical Certificate
- Affidavit regarding criminal records
- Affidavit of support for Dependents
- Certificate of the registrar of companies
- Documents certifying Business Investment
- Copy of tax return (if applicable)
- Unique Registration of the Taxpayer (RUC) identity number
- Original Bank Reference Letter (Not older than 6 month)
- Business Plan
- dual citizenship No
- Family members included Yes
- land ownership Yes
- Physical residence required No
- Personal visit required Yes
- Language skills required No
- Interview required No
- Investment Single $160,000
- Investment Family 4 $166,000
- Minimum annual income -
- Time to citizenship 84
- Time to permanent residency 24
- Visa-free countries 127
- Financing available No
permanent residency benefits
It has a population of over 4 million inhabitants, with half living in the metropolitan area of its capital, Panama City. Its official language is Spanish. Its legal tender currencies are the US Dollar (USD) and the Balboa (PAB), which is pegged to the Dollar at a 1:1 ratio.
Visa Free Travel
Panama's tax system is based on the principle of territoriality. Residents and non-residents are subject to personal income tax on their income derived from Panama. Income derived from a foreign-source may not be subject to taxation, whether it is remitted or not. Usually, an individual is tax resident in Panama if he or she spends more than 183 days in a year within the territory.
Panama taxes its residents’ income earned within the territory at a 15% on annual income between US$11,000 and US$50,000 and 25% on the excess. Interest on Panamanian government securities, interest on savings accounts and time deposits maintained with Panamanian banks are tax-exempt. Non-residents are subject to a withholding tax on the source of 12.5% on their Panamanian income.
Capital Gains are taxed separately. Gains derived from the transfer of immovable properties and the sale of securities and negotiable instruments are subject to a 10% tax. If the transfer of immovable properties constitutes the main economic activity of the taxpayer, capital gains may be subject to corporate income tax.
There is a property tax between 0% and 2.10%, depending on the value of the property. The ITBMS is the Panamanian Value-added tax, and it currently stands at 7%.
There are no transfer, net wealth and inheritance taxes in Panama.
Regarding corporate taxation, companies in Panama are also taxed on a territorial basis. This means that income earned outside the country, remitted or not, may not be subject to taxation.
Income earned within Panama is subject to a flat tax rate of 25% on the net profits or 1.75% on gross taxable amount. Dividends are not subject to taxation. Capital Gains are taxed at 10%. Payments to non-residents on dividends, interests and royalties are subject to a withholding tax of 10%,12.5% and 12.5% respectively. Companies whose business activities are exclusively outside Panama may be exempted from withholding taxes.
Another commonly-used legal entity in Panama is the Private Interest Foundation, which is fully tax-exempt and is used as a holding entity, for asset protection (tangible or intangible), for confidentiality and privacy, estate planning, tax planning or philanthropic reasons. Learn more about Panama’s corporate taxation, legal entities, legal framework and tax treaties at incorporatios.io/panama.
This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.
- Property tax Yes
- Transfer tax No
- Inheritance tax No
- Net worth tax No
- CFC law No
- Tax residency days 183
- Personal income tax rate 25%
- Capital Gains tax rate 10%
- Investment income tax rate 25%
- Territorial taxation Yes
ProceduresPlease sign in to view
Our qualified attorney in Panama will guide you through each step of the process to ensure that it is as fast, efficient and pain-free as possible.
If required, we will introduce you to our network of advisors in Panama to find the business investment that best fit your needs. If you wish to start your own business, we will incorporate your Panamanian corporation or limited liability company and introduce you to several Panama Banks in order to open a personal and corporate bank account.
We will send you the application forms and provide assistance to complete the questionnaires, and translate and authenticate documents.
You will have to visit Panama, undergo a medical examination, register with the National Immigration Service, take photos, submit all required documents and carry out the fingerprint procedures. Your dedicated account manager and your Panama lawyer will guide you through this process.
You may ask for a temporary visa, valid for one year, while the application is processed. It costs US$300 and can be obtained within 72 hours.
After approximately 6 months, you will be notified if the application has been approved. You must visit the country when the process ends to receive all documents in person.
For further information on Panama’s Business Investor visa and detailed procedures, contact us for a free private consultation.